Making it easier to understand what support you are entitled to at work

As a charity one of our aims is to make it easier for families to be able to understand the changing circumstances they face and this can include amongst other things, changes to benefits due to being off work either earlier or for longer than maternity leave provides.

In addition, we campaign for the easier transference of maternity rights in the unfortunate event that a partner may pass away.

Your employment rights are protected while on paternity leave. This includes your right to:

  • Pay rises.

  • Build up (accrue) holiday.

  • Return to work.

Frequently asked questions

Can I take time off for my partner's appointments?

You are entitled to time off to accompany your partner to 2 antenatal appointments. You can take up to 6 and a half hours per appointment. Your employer can choose to give you longer and this may be unpaid.

Can I take time off work to look after my Partner?

Employees have a right to unpaid leave for certain emergencies, also known as ‘time off for dependants. You are entitled to take ‘reasonable time off’ to deal with unforeseen situations for someone who depends on you for care.

Can I ask for flexible working?

If you have been working for your employer for 26 weeks and have a contract of employment, you also have a statutory right to ask for flexible working – a request for a change in working patterns, such as working times or working from home to better fit in with the demands of caring. The employer can refuse the request, but only on specified grounds.

For further information, please see the Shared Parental Leave and Pay 'Employers’ Technical Guide here.

We recognise that while many employers are incredibly supportive during such circumstances and offer all the necessary flexibility required by families, there are others who sadly are not either through lack of understanding of current employment legislation or though lack of understanding of the situation you and your family find yourselves in.

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services) provide free and impartial advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. Their website is full useful articles and they also have a helpline 0300 1231100. They can also provide conciliation if things go wrong.